What Is a DUNS Number?

Whether you plan on doing contract work with a government organization or just want to separate your business credit from your personal credit, a DUNS number can help.

What Is a DUNS Number?

A DUNS number (Data Universal Numbering System) is a unique nine-digit identification number that verifies the existence of a business, globally. Think of it as a social security number for your business. Assigned by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) for each physical location of a business, it is used by industries and organizations around the world as a global standard for business identification and tracking.

Your DUNS number will be associated with a "Paydex" score, from 0 to 100. 75 and above is considered an excellent score. This score can be compared to a business credit score in that it is a predictor of prompt bill payment. 

Once you have an account, you can check your score online. 

Why Do I Need a DUNS Number?

You'll need a DUNS number for your business if you plan to:

  • Provide contract work for any government organizations
  • Get approved for a business line of credit
  • Work with specific industry and trade associations
  • Separate your personal assets from your business

If you market that you are listed with D&B and have a great score, this could be the determining factor on whether you will attract that client's business.

When Do I Need to Get My DUNS Number?

Typically, business owners register for a number with Dun & Bradstreet following the legal formation of their company. This is done so the number is connected to your company directly and not to your personal credit. Attaching it to your personal credit could possibly lower your score.

D&B requires the following information about your company:

  • Business name
  • Physical mailing address
  • Company formation date
  • Nature of the business
  • Name(s) of principal(s)
  • Industry classifications (i.e., SIC, NAICS)
  • Payment and financial experiences
How Long Does It Take to Obtain a DUNS Number?

Typically, your DUNS number will arrive via mail 45 days after you register. However, you can purchase an expedited process and your number arrive within five business days.

How Much Does a DUNS Number Cost?

The DUNS number is free. However, if you wish to receive your number faster than the standard 45 days, you can purchase an expedited process from D&B for $229.

How Do I Obtain a DUNS Number?

There are few different ways to get a DUNS number. You can visit D&B's DUNSFile page or call 1-866-374-0441.


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